I don’t quite recall where I first saw these cupcakes (sorry!) but they’ve been playing in the back of mind for a while and now I finally got all the ingredients to make them, basically the booze: Guinness, whiskey and Amarula.
Although the Scots are famous for their whisky, I’ve heard that the Irish whiskey is just as superb*. I’m not much of a drinker so I had to trust ‘third-party opinions’ on this 😉 Guinness I can say I almost like it, but Amarula… I adore it!
The cake recipe is Nigella’s and it got me exactly 30 regular cupcakes. One of the comments on her website reads:
The wet batter came out cooked as light and sponge-like and the flavour was wonderful. There is no cloying sweetness and the Guinness seems to add a punch to the chocolate flavour in a similar way that adding coffee does to chocolate.
I couldn’t have described it better! The only change I made was fortuitous. I was so concentrated on the booze that I completely forgot the sour cream, so I used plain yoghurt instead.
It may seem a lot of work but all the steps are quite simple, I guarantee 🙂
NIGELLA’S CHOCOLATE GUINNESS CAKE
250g unsalted butter, diced
75g cocoa powder
400g caster sugar
142ml sour cream (I used plain yoghurt)
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract (I used 1 tsp vanilla paste)
275g plain flour
2 ½ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
180g semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
90ml single cream
1 tbsp whiskey (or to taste)
1 quantity Swiss Meringue Buttercream
3 tbsp Amarula
Start with the whiskey ganache. Heat the cream in the microwave oven until it’s hot (do not boil it!). Add the chopped chocolate and whisk until all the chocolate is melted – you can put it back in the microwave oven using 10 secs spurs if you see any lumps. Let it set in the fridge whilst you make the cupcakes and before adding the whiskey.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 23cm springform tin – or, if you’re making cupcakes, you’ll need about 30 paper cups.
Pour the Guinness into a large saucepan, add the butter and heat until the butter is melted. Away from the hob, whisk in the cocoa and sugar. Beat the sour cream with the eggs and vanilla and pour into the saucepan. Finally whisk in the flour and bicarb.
Pour the cake batter into the greased and lined tin and bake for 45 minutes to an hour – or about 25 minutes for cupcakes. Leave to cool completely in the tin on a cooling rack, as it is quite a damp cake.
Meanwhile, prepare the Swiss meringue buttercream according to the recipe. When it’s done, gently incorporate the Amarula with a metal spoon. Leave it in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.
After the cupcakes have cooled, remove the ganache from the fridge and add the whiskey. Core the cupcakes, fill them with the ganache and make a swirl with the Amarula buttercream (I used Wilton’s 1A tip).
NOTES: I’m using whiskey spelled with an ‘e’ (except when I refer to Scottish whisky) because of an interesting article I read here. It basically states that, if you referring to the liquor produced in Ireland or the USA, you should spell it ‘whiskey’ but, if it was produced in Scotland or Canada, you should spell it ‘whisky’. And that’s why I used both spellings in this post – I’m a nerd, I know
If you can resist, the Guinness flavour in the cupcakes is more intense the next day.